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"Follow A Star"
Click the forward arrow and listen to Donna J. Shepherd read the story to you.

A read aloud story from the Rooter & Snuffle Book

by Shari Lyle-Soffe

The hollow tree smelled of warm gingerbread as the boys gathered their gifts for Grandpa Raccoon. Snuffle had a shiny spoon found by the river. Rooter had woven a doormat of cattail reeds. Rooter stared longingly at the largest package under the Christmas tree.

The tag read ‘For Rooter’.

“When can we open our gifts?” he asked.

“When you come home,” Mother said.

They stepped outside and pulled their jackets tight. Crisp air nipped their noses. Their breath came in white puffs.

“Start home before dark” Mother warned “A storm is coming.”

The boys scurried along the path.

“I bet it’s a sled,” Rooter said.

“Can I ride too?” asked Snuffle.

“Sure, we’ll take turns,” Rooter said “Let’s hurry so we can get back.”

The cold air made Rooter’s nose run as they hiked upstream to a fallen tree that bridged the river. They crossed carefully while the water below churned gray and icy. Then they darted into the forest. Snuffle skipped between the trees while Rooter stayed to the path.

At the top of the hill the path split in three directions.

Snuffle stopped. “Which way?”

Rooter sniffed the air. “This way,” he said.

Chatter squirrel ran alongside. “Hello, hello. Where to?” he said.

Rooter grinned. “Grandpa’s house.”

“He’s fixing a Christmas feast,” said Snuffle.

“I see, I see,” Chatter said.

“Would you like to come?” asked Rooter.

“A feast, yum yum, but I can’t come,” said Chatter. “Nuts to store before … before.” Chatter ran up a tree and disappeared.

“Before what?” Rooter asked.

Snuffle shrugged.

At the hollow tree Grandpa threw open the door and shouted. “Merry Christmas!”

“Merry Christmas!” said Rooter and Snuffle, handing him their gifts.

“Just what I wanted!” Grandpa set the spoon on the mantle and placed the doormat by the door. He gave each boy a wooden whistle.

“I whittled them from a hickory branch.”

Rooter blew his whistle. Tweeeeeeet! “It’s the best.”

Snuffle’s tummy growled. “I’m starved!”

“We have to leave early to open our presents,” said Rooter.

Grandpa chuckled. “Dinner’s ready.”

The table was set with poached pears, fish-head stew, and wild mushrooms. They bowed their heads, and Grandpa said the blessing. It was a delicious feast.

After dinner they huddled by a warm fire. Grandpa read the story of the first Christmas. Rooter wanted to go home, but he loved hearing about the shepherds following the star. Soon it was dark.

“You’d better start back,” Grandpa said.

The boys zipped their jackets and tucked their new whistles into their pockets.

“Thank you for dinner,” Rooter said.

“And for our gifts,” Snuffle added.

Big snowflakes floated to the ground and covered everything in a blanket of white. The boys scurried along the path until it disappeared under the white.

“Which way?” Snuffle asked.

“I-I don’t know. This way…or maybe this...” Rooter thought, I’ll follow a star like the shepherds did the first Christmas. He looked up through the trees, but heavy clouds hid the stars from view.

Snuffle sobbed. “We’re lost!”

Rooter prayed. “Please send us a star to lead us home.”

Just then the berry bushes shook, and out strolled a skunk. The skunk yawned and stretched all the way from his little black nose to the tip of his fluffy black and white striped tail. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

“We’re lost,” said Rooter.

“No problem!” said the skunk. “I was about to take a nap. Then a little voice told me to make snow angels, but they can wait.”

Snuffle dried his eyes on Rooter’s tail.

“I’m Sirius,” the skunk said.

“Serious?” Snuffle sniffed.

“I was named for a star. Follow me.”

Sirius led them to the log that bridged the river. The raccoon brothers waved goodbye as they crossed over.

“Merry Christmas!” They shouted.

“I wonder who told Sirius to make snow angels?” asked Snuffle.

“I think Sirius was an answer to my prayer,” Rooter said.

“I’m glad!” Snuffle said.

“Me too!” said Rooter, “now come on. We still have presents to open.”

The End

On the Go with Rooter & Snuffle
Copyright ©2007 Sharon A. Soffe
Illustrations © 2007 Sharon A. Soffe
ISBN 13: 978-1-933090-51-1; ISBN 10: 1-933090-51-0

February 2007
Published in the United States of America
Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
12430 Tesson Ferry Road #186
Saint Louis, MO 63128 USA

All rights reserved.
Names, characters and incidents depicted in this book are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of the author or the publisher. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.